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Marty Nothstein poisoned ex-girlfriend's lawn, stalked her, police say

Marty Nothstein is a former Lehigh County commissioner and an Olympic gold medalist accused on Dec. 7, 2021, of stalking a former female acquaintance and her boyfriend. (Courtesy photo)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Olympic cycling champion and former Lehigh County commissioner Marty Nothstein has been charged with stalking and criminal mischief.

Northampton County District Attorney Stephen Baratta announced the charges Friday.

Nothstein, 53, of Lowhill Township, spent a year on probation after pleading guilty in February 2023 in a previous stalking and harassment case.

He is accused in new misdemeanor charges of violating a protection-from-abuse order with a 44-year-old former girlfriend and poisoning her lawn, authorities said.

Nothstein was observed in close proximity to the victim’s Bethlehem home, workplace and child’s Little League field, according to a statement from the district attorney’s office.

He also allegedly used herbicide to damage the victim's lawn, which cost $795 to repair, records show.

Bethlehem police began investigating allegations earlier this month, Baratta said.

The protective order went into effect in February and restricts direct or indirect contact with the victim and includes stalking, harassment or following the person, according to court records.

They had been in a relationship from August 2021 until February of this year, police said.

“The victim suffered repeated damage to her personal and real property during the time period of the PFA to include damage to her front lawn at the end of March,” Baratta’s statement said.

He said Nothstein made numerous attempts to contact the victim both directly and indirectly through other people.

Authorities with a search warrant seized Nothstein’s cellular phone and call records.

Recovered was a deleted browser search on March 29, “Does Roundup kill grass during cold weather,” according to Baratta. Location data also put the phone in the vicinity of the victim's home, workplace and child's baseball field, Baratta said.

In February 2023, Nothstein pleaded guilty to illegally entering his ex-girlfriend's Lower Macungie Township home.

He agreed to a plea deal to defiant trespassing and was sentenced to a year on probation. He could have faced up to seven years in prison under the original charges filed in December 2021.

Pennsylvania State Police had alleged Nothstein stalked his former girlfriend and her new boyfriend between December 2020 and November 2021.

A former Lehigh County commissioner, Nothstein, a Republican, lost a congressional race to Democrat Susan Wild in November 2018. A year later, he lost re-election to the board of commissioners.

He is a world champion cyclist who won a silver medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and an Olympic gold medal at Sydney in 2000.